This Week’s Summary of Articles from Public Spend Matters Europe

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Here's a summary of our stories from around Europe on Public Spend Matters Europe this week. There’s a new article every day and many are attracting comments from experts. Each Friday, we are featuring a briefsummaryof the main articles published that week on PSME. If you see something of interest, please click through and take a look at the whole thing.

More European SMEs To Benefit from New Finance Programmes

The EC is setting up more programmes to get direct financial support to Eastern European SMEs. In Bulgaria, a new operational programme called “SME Initiative” will allow SMEs to access €102 million from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). the European Commission also adopted a programme that will invest over €78 million in EU Regional funds in the border region of Austria and Hungary. It has approved Latvia’s project to develop a financial institution to improve funding access for SMEs. And Turkey is also set to receive a financial boost after the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) agreed to a loan worth €60 million with Turkish Odeabank. You can read more about the details behind these initiatives in the article.

 

The Greek Negotiation Strategy – How NOT To Use a BATNA!

Greece conceded and agreed pretty much the package of austerity measures that their referendum had rejected just days earlier. Spending cuts, VAT increases, reductions in defence spending – all elements of the deal that had been resisted are now agreed. Frankly, this has been an appalling performance by Syriza and Alexis Tsipras, who seem to have achieved nothing but six months of the Greek economy going backwards. In the end, as so often in negotiations, it came down to the BATNA.
Procurement Challenge in Bristol Brings Evaluation Methodology Issues Into Focus

A recent legal case in the UK (a challenge to a procurement run by Bristol Council) has a number of interesting implications for contracting authorities potentially across Europe. Bristol Missing Link Ltd, the incumbent supplier, challenged the procurement of a significant contract for domestic violence and abuse support services in Bristol. The defendant, Bristol City Council, wants to award the contract to another tenderer. Because of the challenge, the Council had been stopped from entering into the proposed contract, but as often happens, had applied to the court to lift the ban and be allowed to place the contract. The judge refused -- here's what happened.
eInvoicing in Europe – How Much Has It Really Taken Off?

Could 2015 be the year that goes down in public procurement history as the year of widespread adoption of eInvoicing across Europe? The race is on, and growing in momentum. But recent research by Billentis/Basware, and reported by Pymnts.com, uncovered that “… despite all the talk of mass e-invoice adoption, Billentis has found that only about 42 billion of the world’s estimated 500 billion invoices are digitized. That figure amounts to just 8.4 percent.” In terms of Europe however: “While the e-invoicing market, on average, sees up to 3 percent growth every year, Europe alone experiences e-invoice expansion as high as 7 percent.” So the effects of deadlines and scrambling to get systems ready in time, is paying off.

Is Germany Really a "Good European" Citizen? Bribery and Procurement Data Suggests Not Always!

The animosity between Greece and Germany has been an unfortunate consequence of the recent crisis in the Greek economy and the debate about that country’s participation in the Euro. Many German citizens object to the amount of “their” money that has gone to prop up the Greeks, whilst bad feeling amongst the Greek people can often be traced back to the German occupation of Greece during World War II. We also know that corruption has been a major issue in Greece, but there is an irony, in that German firms have played a major role historically as one source of public procurement corruption in Greece, particularly but not exclusively in the defence sector ...

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